Adventurous travelers will love this 15-day tour in Brazil that combines rainforest activities, colonial architecture, tropical islands, and the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro. Start in the Amazon, where you'll make the most of your days with numerous wildlife-spotting excursions. Then fly to Salvador, one of Brazil's oldest cities and brimming with African culture, followed by Paraty, where you can hop between beaches and islands. End the trip in lively Rio, home to Brazil's most iconic viewpoints.


  • Stay three nights in a peaceful jungle lodge in the heart of the Amazon 
  • See a performance by one of the world's best folklore troupes in Salvador
  • Relax, swim, and sunbathe on the stunning beaches of Ilha Grande
  • Ride a cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain and admire views across Rio

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Manaus, City Tour Manaus
Day 2 Transfer to the Amazon Rainforest Acajatuba
Days 3-4 Optional Activities in the Amazon Rainforest Acajatuba
Day 5 Transfer to Manaus, Fly to Salvador Salvador
Day 6 Walking Tour of Pelourinho, Evening Folklore Performance Salvador
Day 7 Salvador Market Tour, Cooking Demonstration & Lunch Salvador
Day 8 Fly to Rio de Janeiro, Transfer to Paraty, Walking Tour Paraty
Day 9 Hike the Historic Gold Trail Paraty
Day 10 Free Day in Paraty, Boat to Ilha Grande Ilha Grande
Day 11 Ilha Grande Boat Tour Ilha Grande
Day 12 Transfer to Rio de Janeiro, Cooking Class Rio de Janeiro
Day 13 Sugarloaf Mountain Tour Rio de Janeiro
Day 14 Visit Corcovado & Christ the Redeemer, City Tour Rio de Janeiro
Day 15 Depart Rio de Janeiro  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Manaus, City Tour

Theater Amazonas in Manaus
End today's tour at the opera house in Manaus

Welcome to Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian Amazon and the starting point for excursions into the incredible Amazon rainforest! Transfer to your accommodation and take some time to rest and refresh after the journey before getting out into the town to explore on a guided city tour that includes many of Manaus's most important, interesting, and beautiful historic buildings.

Start at the 20th-century Black River Palace, an opulent manor constructed by a rubber baron, where you'll learn about the significance of the region's rubber industry. Continue to the Museu do Índio (Indian Museum), where you'll explore the rich cultural heritage of Brazil's Indigenous population. Next is the 19th-century Customs House, followed by the Palace of Justice, which stands as an impressive testament to the region's judicial system. The tour will conclude at the Amazon Theater, a magnificent opera house adorned with a beautiful pink facade and colorful dome. 

Day 2: Transfer to the Amazon Rainforest

Finish the journey into the Amazon by boat and look for stilt houses

This morning, you'll transfer from Manaus to your base in the Amazon, Tariri Lodge. The first part of the three-hour transfer is overland. You'll first cross the Rio Negro on a cable-stayed bridge that is a whopping 2.2 miles (3.6 km) long, then take a road that runs parallel to the Rio Solimões. The final 30 minutes of the journey is by boat.

Upon arrival, you'll be greeted with a refreshing welcome drink and an orientation to the lodge and the activities you'll enjoy in the coming days. Take a deep breath and appreciate being surrounded by the jungle and the sounds of birds and animals as you relax at the lodge.

Days 3-4: Optional Activities in the Amazon Rainforest

Keep an eye out for macaws flying above the trees in the Amazon

Over the next couple of days, you'll participate in many activities that will introduce you to the fantastic flora, fauna, and landscapes of the Amazon, as well as the lifestyle of the region's inhabitants. Make the most of your days by getting up early in the morning to catch the sunrise and heading out at night to see and listen out for nocturnal wildlife. During the daytime hours in between, you can choose to take canoe tours, go piranha fishing, hike in the jungle, spot pink dolphins, and visit a riverside community to learn about life in the Amazon and the local cuisine.

Day 5: Transfer to Manaus, Fly to Salvador

Transfer from the Amazon Jungle to Manaus
Look for giant water lilies in the Amazon on your way back to Manaus
Say goodbye to the Amazon this morning and return to Manaus the same way you came. Upon arrival in Manaus, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Salvador, a coastal city that's the capital of the northeastern state of Bahia. Salvador is known for its tropical beaches, historic Portuguese architecture, and Baroque colonial-era churches. As one of Brazil's oldest cities, Salvador was founded in 1549 as the capital of the Portuguese colony of Brazil and has since grown into a modern, bustling hub. You'll be transferred to your hotel after your arrival.
Plan your trip to Brazil
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
The rest of the day is yours to enjoy at leisure. You might want to just rest at your hotel, or you could take a walk along the popular Praia da Barra. This beach has natural rock formations that divide the water into pools, which are fun to swim or snorkel in. You can rent beach equipment here and then, when hungry, walk a short distance to several restaurants and bars.

Day 6: Walking Tour of Pelourinho, Evening Folklore Performance

Walk through the UNESCO-listed Pelourinho district of Salvador at dusk

Get to know Salvador better today on a guided walking tour of the historic downtown and the Pelourinho district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the most extensive collection of colonial buildings in Latin America. Walk along cobblestone streets surrounded by pastel-colored houses, visit the exuberant São Francisco Church, and see the Cathedral of Salvador's Rococo refinement. Then, continue to the Lacerda Elevator, a public elevator connecting the city's upper and lower parts.

In the evening, learn about Salvador's African heritage with an exhilarating performance by the Bahia Folklore Company, one of the world's most respected folklore dance troupes. The troupe performs in the intimate Miguel Santana Theatre in Pelourinho, and shows combine the multiple African traditions that underpin Bahian culture. After the performance, grab dinner at one of the great restaurants in the historic center.

Day 7: Salvador Market Tour, Cooking Demonstration & Lunch

Photograph colorful architecture in Salvador as you head to the market

In Salvador, there are few better ways to immerse yourself in the city than by visiting its municipal markets. The São Joaquim Fair is the largest such market in the city, and today, you'll have an opportunity to tour this massive labyrinth of merchant stalls, produce vendors, and food purveyors. Rub shoulders with locals doing their daily shopping, try a fresh fruit suco (juice), or purchase authentic Bahian souvenirs. 

The market is also where you can find all the ingredients necessary to prepare Bahia's signature dish, moqueca—a rich seafood stew made with cilantro, lime, garlic, coconut milk, and dendê (red palm) oil. After you've visited the market, head to a local restaurant for a cooking demonstration in which the chef will prepare this dish right before you. Enjoy this delicious meal before heading back to your hotel for the evening.

Day 8: Fly to Rio de Janeiro, Transfer to Paraty, Walking Tour

Paraty's historic center
Take a walking tour through Paraty's pretty colonial center

Today, you'll leave Salvador and head to Rio de Janeiro by plane (the flight time is around two hours). At the airport in Rio, a driver will meet you and take you overland to the coastal town of Paraty, a journey of around four hours.

After a long travel day, a great way to stretch your legs and become acquainted with Paraty is to take a two-hour walking tour of the historic city center. Paraty's colonial-era architecture is well preserved, and you can learn about Paraty's history as you visit churches, museums, and homes. At the end of the tour, find a local restaurant and enjoy some live Brazilian music.

Day 9: Hike the Historic Gold Trail

Stop for a refreshing swim at waterfalls along the Gold Trail

Today, you'll follow the Caminho do Ouro (Gold Trail), a trail laid by enslaved people in the 18th century to transport gold to the ports between Paraty and the state of Minas Gerais.

First, head to the city of Penha, from where you'll hike along the historic trail with your guide, stopping at some waterfalls for a refreshing swim. After the hike, take a tour of a cachaça distillery that uses traditional techniques to produce a uniquely Brazilian spirit made from sugar cane. After tasting several varieties, you'll have time for lunch in a local restaurant before returning to Paraty by bus for an authentic insight into Brazilian life.

Day 10: Free Day in Paraty, Boat to Ilha Grande

Choose a water activity in Paraty or relax on beautiful beaches

Today, you can enjoy free time to explore Paraty at your own pace. You could relax on the beautiful beaches, take a boat tour, or paddle a kayak to nearby islands. Alternatively, hike up the 1,443-foot (440 m) high Sugarloaf Peak, inside the Mamanguá Reserve, for memorable views of the whole region and of the Saco de Mamanguá tropical fjord, one of only a few tropical fjords in the world. The hike is a full-day activity and best suited for active travelers.

Later in the day, take a boat to Ilha Grande, an island offshore from Paraty, where you'll stay for the next couple of days.

Day 11: Ilha Grande Boat Tour

Beaches of Ilha Grande
Spend a full day exploring Ilha Grande on a boat tour

Explore the Ilha Grande today on a boat tour around the island. First, travel to the Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon), where you'll feed colorful tropical fish by hand in the shallow waters. Then, proceed to Feiticeira Beach, a tiny secluded beach near Estrelas Bay. You can swim or hike to the beautiful Feiticeira Waterfall and continue the tour through the Saco do Céu (Bag of the Sky), an ecological sanctuary. This bay got its name from how the stars reflect on its surface at night. You'll also want to keep your eyes peeled, as the mangrove trees here are home to many species of animals.

Afterward, stop at Fora Beach, where fishing houses and rustic restaurants run along the river that flows toward Perequê Beach. This is a great place to stop for a bite to eat before returning to your accommodation.

Day 12: Transfer to Rio de Janeiro, Cooking Class

Fish Moqueca preparation
Join a local chef and learn how to prepare fish moqueca
Leave behind the tranquil island today and return to the bustling capital, Rio de Janeiro. After you've had a chance to settle into your room and freshen up after the journey, participate in a fun cooking class. You'll practice new skills, learn more about Brazilian cuisine, and eat some tasty food. During the class, your instructor will explain the origins and nutritional benefits of the various ingredients and teach you specific recipes. At the end of the lesson, sit down together and enjoy the dishes you just made. A typical menu includes a moqueca fish dish or feijoada bean stew.

Day 13: Sugarloaf Mountain Tour

Ride a cable car up and down Sugarloaf Mountain for memorable views

Get ready to ride a cable car to visit one of Rio's most famous attractions, the Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) lookout, which offers the city's best views. At the top, look left for views of Copacabana Beach stretching into the distance and the faint outlines of the Two Brothers and Gávea Mountains. Below is the small Red Beach, while to your right, you'll be able to see across Guanabara Bay to Niterói. Closer in, look out over Rio's Botafogo and central neighborhoods, with the unmistakable silhouette of the Christ the Redeemer statue gazing over the city. 

Day 14: Visit Corcovado & Christ the Redeemer, City Tour

The view from Christ the Redeemer, in Rio de Janeiro
Enjoy jaw-dropping views from Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro

After yesterday's trip to Sugarloaf Mountain, tick off another essential Rio attraction today, the Christ the Redeemer Statue, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, that sits atop Corcovado Mountain. Begin with a train ride up to the mountain through tropical forest that takes about 20 minutes.

After taking in the impressive views, descend the mountain again and enjoy a city tour that will take you past the famous Maracanã Stadium, where soccer games are played. You'll also visit Sambódromo, the location of Rio's exciting Carnival; the distinctive Metropolitan Cathedral, a modern structure influenced by Maya pyramids; and the brightly colored tiles of the famous Selarón Steps, one of Rio's most distinctive landmarks. 

Day 15: Depart Rio de Janeiro

Take a morning stroll along Copacabana Beach before departure

It's time to say goodbye to Brazil! Depending on the hour of your flight, you may be able to squeeze in some last-minute sightseeing in Rio or simply stroll along the beachside promenade and take photos. At the appropriate time, transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight. Safe travels!

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